"Walk though Walls" is one of my favorite records. I love the way we recorded this album. My friend Mike who engineered and produced says it's a breakup record, which i guess it is, but I like to think of it as a traveling record. I broke off a four year relationship, put all my stuff in storage and hit the road - just me, my guitar, my first laptop and a beat-up Honda civic to play music anywhere and everywhere I could.
I planned to visit some old friends along the way and hopefully make some new ones along the way. I wanted to breathe in our uniquely American landscape. Get to know this great country of ours. My right ankle got crazy sore on the accelerator. There was no cruise control. There was no gps. My tattered road atlas somehow got me everywhere. Printed out map quest directions once sent me up a dirt mountain road that turned into a rocky creek bed with no way to turn around until the top. I lost my muffler on the way down. I slept in my tent or peoples couches or cheap motels. Only once in my car- just for a few hours - after I drove all night to play a festival and it was pouring rain. Dumping buckets like the Dylan song when I played my morning set -just me and the sound guy and a muddy field, all the festival goers still in their tents.
Although I left San Francisco with a broken heart, this was the first time in my life that I felt truly free. Those feelings come through in these songs. I recorded "Walk Though Walls" after that trip.
After I traveled around the US for an entire year, I came back with no money but a heart full of songs.
I called my musician friends (Steve Adams from ALO on bass, Michael Messer on drums, Alisa Rose on fiddle, Adam Roszkiewicz on mandolin, David Phillips on Dobro, My ex-girlfriend Larkin Gayl and Beth Waters on harmonies) and asked them if I could pay them with whatever they wanted out of my storage unit: instruments, a turn table, tons of records I had spent years collecting, pots and pans and even a pair of shoes that went to Eric Yates from Hot Buttered Rum for playing the banjo and the accordion. My friends Annie & Monty gave us a home for the week by lending me their cabin in Mill Valley in exchange for my electric guitar. We holed up in that cabin by the creek and recorded these songs with all acoustic instruments. We put Steve and his upright bass in the bathtub. It sounded good in there plus we needed another room. There are photos of Erik playing the accordion sitting on the privy. I love that we were all there together in the same place making this music. Eating meals together. Talking out the changes. Michael Winger (who produced the record) and I would start each day with a walk up the canyon through the redwoods. I feel like the beauty of our surroundings really comes through on these recordings.
Two of the songs I wrote that year have been patiently waiting their turn to come to light. "Magpie" is a haunting murder ballad and "Oh What Joy" is a take-you-higher gospel romp. We're finally giving them the attention they deserve with the help of some stellar musicians. Gabe Witcher from the Punch Brothers is playing the fiddle and his brother Mike Witcher lays some killer dobro. Dominick Leslie played mandolin across the ethers from Brooklyn and Ingrid Serban sings amazing harmonies as always. Singing with Ingrid is a joy. She makes harmony effortless. I'm really excited to share these new songs with you.
Michael Romanowski has done a phenomenal job remastering the entire record and producing the new tunes.
I love the look and feel and sound of Vinyl, and surround sound is the closest you can come to being there in that little cabin with us. I believe in the healing power of music. I've heard from so many people how this record has helped them through a rough breakup or hard times in their lives. I've heard from a gulf war vet who says he wouldn't have made it through his tour of duty without this music. i am so grateful to know this music has touched people and helped them in some way. I know the more love and care has been given the better music sounds. The better it sounds the more powerfully I feel it. I am grateful for the kickstarter platform that is enabling us to come together and make this project happen. Thank you for your support. I really couldn't do it without you.
P.S. Here is the "Moonlight Meeting" and now "Guitar" painting that I'm offering as one of the rewards:
Risks and challenges
The challenge I face is continuing to create music and art and to bring it to you; paying the musicians, studio time, recording engineer, mastering engineer, album art layout and design, cd and vinyl manufacturing, shipping, writing, touring, and everything else it takes to run this little record label and bring you the music!
I am excited to have you join us on this musical journey in a more personal way than ever before. I am deeply grateful for your support. You give wings to my music.
- (30 days)